Thursday, April 26, 2012

Southwest Trip - 9

Hi, At this point we were definitely in the home stretch; only 4 days of shooting left.  We started our day by heading east from Needles, CA back to Topock, AZ to attempt a photo of an eastbound crossing the Colorado River from California into Arizona.  Jeremy and Jim went for the classic shot at highway level, which I already had, so I joined Dale for a track level view.

We then headed west 54 miles on I-40/Goffs Road to Essex, CA.  A highway bridge across the tracks provides great angles for trains in both directions with the morning being preferred.  We saw 2 eastbound trains here but no westbounds.  In fact, we would not see a westbound train until almost 3:00 PM in Amboy, CA.

As we approached Cadiz, CA we heard an eastbound approaching on the radio.

A second eastbound was close behind.

We continued west to Amboy.  As we approached another eastbound was heard on the radio.

The train had a pair of DPUs.

Ten minutes behind was another eastbound train which we photographed at the Historic Route 66 grade crosssing.

We headed west to explore and encountered more eastbound trains.  We got this one east of Siberia,

this one at the West Siberia Control Point, and

this one at the East Siberia Control Point.  I was amazed at how different this area looks compared to my last visit in 1996.

Our first westbound showed up just before 3:00 PM and we photographed it in Amboy, CA

and again east of East Siberia.

We had another shot lined up for this train but an eastbound cut us off.  Not knowing how long the train would take to get to Ludlow, CA, a must shoot spot for both Dale and me, nor how long it would take us to get into position, we headed directly there next.  Another eastbound came through just as we arrived at our spot.

Next up was a fleet of five westbound trains, the last two in good sun.

At this point it started to cloud up again so we called it a very good day and headed for Barstow, CA.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Southwest Trip - 8

Hi, We spent the night in Kingman, AZ and headed for Crozier Canyon, about 1/2 hour east of Kingman, the next morning.  Our first train, a westbound, hit the detector a couple of miles east of the canyon as we were getting into position.

About 35 minutes later we heard an eastbound approaching and after about 10 minutes it came into view.

Another westbound, this one with a former ATSF GP60M splicing 2 former ATSF GP60s, showed up 35 minutes later.

We now decided to move further into the canyon.  However, at this point our trusty Chrysler Town and Country Van thought otherwise.  It got down off the hill from which the above photos were taken but spun its wheels part way up the next hill.  We backed it down into a wash and proceeded on foot further into the Canyon.  This eastbound train was shot from the first hill we walked up.

As we continued into the canyon trains kept running westbound

and eastbound.

Traffic was steady.  Here is another eastbound train.

We finally got to one of the best spots in the canyon.  However, clouds came up so I elected to include this photo as a black and white.

A little light came back for this westbound a few minutes later.

However, it was over 3 hours until the next train came along and by that time the light was on the other side of the track.  The photo below was taken as we were walking back to the van.

The eastbound train above had a pair of DPUs.

Almost immediately after the eastbound train disappeared a westbound came into view.

We left Crozier Canyon and headed for Needles, CA.  On our way we paused to get a couple of shots out in the desert.  This area is not flat as there is a sustained grade from the Colorado River at Topock, AZ up to Kingman. 

After photographing the eastbound we moved further west for this westbound.

Just west of the Colorado River in California, some 10 miles east of Needles, is an area called Park Moabi.  The remaining photos were taken in that area.  An exit off I-40 leads into the area and this photo oa a eastbound was taken off the side of that road.

The sun came out for the westbound we had photographed out in the desert.

Finally, one more train came east before the clouds settled in for the rest of the evening and we called it a day.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Southwest Trip - 7

Hi, We began our day with a return to the Copper Basin.  We expected to follow a northbound empty train to the mine and then a southbound loaded train back to the dumper before heading to Kingman, AZ to spend some time on BNSF's Transcon.  However, when we saw no train at the dumper we checked in at the railroad's office and learned that a problem at the mine caused the trains to run late and that a loaded ore train was getting close to Hayden.

We headed north and intercepted the train just south of Kearny.

We got our second southbound shot as the train approached the dumper in Hayden with a massive tailings pile to the left of the train.

After the train passed a set of light power came down from the engine terminal.  This power tied on to the north end of the train for the run back to the mine.  Thus a crew change was accomplished.

The pipe to the left of the train carries tailings to the pile.  The train is waiting to enter the dumper.

We set up between Hayden and Kearny for a photo of the ore empties.

The train had to wait for a track crew to clear the track and we got 2 more shots in the Ray Junction area before heading for Kingman.

As we followed the BNSF tracks west out of Phoenix we came across this auto rack train just beginning to move east at Sun City, AZ.  Needless to say seeing a pure ATSF set was a big surprise.  An even greater surprise would come in Kingman where we would see 2 more pure sets, one of which we would get to photograph the next day.

We arrived in Kingman, checked into our motel and headed for Old Route 66 through Kingman Canyon.   The next 5 photos were taken from the same location.  The first 2 are of westbound trains.

The second train above had a pair of DPUs.

Next up was a stack train with 8 units.  This just had to be a power transfer we thought.

We then shifted our location about a half mile west where the next 2 trains were photographed.

At this point it became cloudy so we decided to make sure we could get into Crozier Canyon in preparation for the next morning's photography.  After we had finished exploring we got this westbound exiting Crozier Canyon in the last sunlight of the day.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.